Thursday, April 9, 2009

Vacation: Thursday, April 9

Today we made the 1½ hour drive south down to Fort Myers.

Our first stop was the Edison and Ford Winter Estates Museum.

Edison completed the building of his vacation home 1887, and it served as his winter retreat until his death in 1931.

One of the houses on the estate

Edison’s good friend Henry Ford moved into the adjoining property in 1916 and the entire property was later donated to the city of Fort Myers and is now a museum. The gardens surrounding the different houses are extensive, and among many things have lots of exotic fruit trees.

A Carambola fruit tree

A GIGANTIC Hibiscus tree! I have never seen a hibiscus this HUGE before! Incredible!

A close up of one of the flowers

Edison also had a "work shop" where he worked with his friend Ford and Firestone to come up with a way to extract rubber from Goldenrod plants. It proved not as successful as regular rubber, but his laboratory is left just as it was when he occupied it.

It is pretty fantastic to see the incredibly ingenious inventions Edison came up with. We all know about his work with electricity and the invention of the light bulb, but he also invented several other items such as the toaster, the waffle iron and the curling iron.

After our visit to the museum we headed over to our new found "cousin" Dave, whom I have met through an online forum. We started talking about genealogy research, and when he mentioned his grandmother was from Gotland, Sweden, I urged him to contact my aunts, who are have the arguably largest genealogy database for Gotland. Not only did my aunt save him, oh perhaps 7 years of research, it turned out we were distant cousins too!

So they had invited us for lunch at his and his very nice wife's winter home (they live up in Nebraska during the winter).

Elisabeth, Carola, Sarah and our new "cousin" and his wife

Tomorrow Sarasota Jungle Gardens is on the agenda, more to come soon...

1 comment:

Lotte Jensen said...

kul med "släkt"kontakten